Cheney Free Press -

By JOHN McCALLUM
Editor 

Violence isn't about guns - it's about what's inside us

Write to the Point

 

November 9, 2017



I think it’s time for us to admit that the society of the United States is a violent society.

Let’s just look at gun violence. As of Nov. 7, there were 52,606 reported incidents of gun violence in this country this year.

Staying with current news, Sunday’s shooting in Sutherland, Texas was the 307th mass shooting this year, according to the website Gun Violence Archive — mass shooting defined by at least four victims, dead or injured. Nov. 7 was the 311th day of 2017.

So far, there have been 13,219 deaths associated with firearms, 27,060 injuries, 621 children ages 11 and younger killed or injured and 2,772 teens ages 12-17 likewise. There have been 264 incidents where a law enforcement officer was shot or killed and 1,768 incidents where an officer shot or killed a suspect.

Home invasion reports: 2,112. Personal defense use reports: 1,731. Unintentional shooting reports: 1,704.

Gun Violence Archive has a lovely color map pinpointing with red dots all of the above incidents, and with the exception of a sporadic field of red along the West Coast, most of the color is along the East Coast, Deep South and the Great Lakes area of the Midwest.

That’s just guns. I don’t even know where to begin to look to find statistics on other forms of assault, which would surely increase the number of dead and injured.

This country has more guns per capita than any other country in the world, and sometimes it seems people revel in that stat. But most gun owners don’t go around shooting people in churches, at concerts, movie theaters or nightclubs.

That’s because guns aren’t the cause of violence. With the exception of officer-involved shootings they are the means of expressing whatever rage or emotion their user might be experiencing, be it hatred towards us infidels or as in what appears to be the case in Sutherland, anger towards former family.

The fact that we seem to be OK with the increased firepower of modern weapons adds to the carnage. I’m not talking just bump-stocks, I’m also talking large capacity ammunition clips and other accoutrements.

But guns, knives, baseball bats, things like that are just tools to express someone’s anger. Let’s look also at how we innocently participate in violence through the entertainment media.

I quit watching network and cable TV shows a long time ago. Much of the dramas revolved around some form of violence, either dealing with its aftermath or resorting to its use to solve problems.

Comedy was more about using insults as jokes. Many of the more popular movies incorporate cartoon characters, us vs. extraterrestrials or fantasy world violence.

UFC, MMA, even the NFL at times, all are forms of violence, even if controlled.

And we don’t seem to want to talk about this, much less actually do anything. We’ve become somewhat desensitized to violence — many of the 307 mass shootings didn’t make the national media unless the body count was high.

This violence doesn’t seem to spark much in the way of introspection, or even education. There is plenty of information out there with which to help us at least understand the problems, including violence stemming from mental health issues, domestic issues, etc., but unless it’s in the form of something one can read in under three minutes or watch and listen to in 30 seconds, we don’t bother to take the time.

It doesn’t make for a safe society, or in the words of our Founders, insure “domestic tranquility.” It does make the United States a country transforming into something most people would detest — a third-world nation.

That’s inevitable, unless we decide to at least put down our weapons and fists, and talk.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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